Our guest blogger Freddy is back today with an amazing recap post from her big day! To refresh your memory, Freddy and her now-hubby Chris won the wedding planning giveaway we hosted awhile back with A. Dominick Events. Get ready to get teary-eyed... this one's a beauty!
Hello everyone! I’m back!
I can’t thank you enough for having followed alongside me throughout some of my wedding planning journey! It’s been so fun writing for Hitched, and I am thrilled to share our wedding day recap with you!
The day started very early for me. I had been pretty sure that after a food-coma-inducing rehearsal dinner at Neyla (yum!) and a post-rehearsal mixer at Chadwick’s (which I highly recommend to anyone looking to throw a casual get-together – they were so nice and wonderfully accommodating!) I would be sleeping in as long as my schedule would allow. But I just couldn’t keep my eyes shut after I realized at 5am that today is the day!
Since I had a few hours before I had to be at Okyo Salon, I re-read some of the emails that Chris and I had sent one another after we’d first met. Reading them made everything that was about to happen feel even more incredible – that we went from being thousands of miles apart to having our friends and family come from all over the world to celebrate our wedding. It was a wonderful and calm moment that made me feel so, so grateful.
After I had my hair done, I went back to the bridal suite of the Park Hyatt to get ready with my mother, mother-in-law, sisters, and all the bridesmaids. We had about 15 people in one room, but getting ready with all my best friends was so much fun! Our wonderful photographer, Abby Jiu came to the suite around 1:30 to take some getting-ready photos.
After we’d finished, I headed further into Georgetown with Abby to do the “first look”. I initially had some reservations about doing a first look – there seems to be something so special and classic about the groom not seeing the bride before she walks down the aisle. Chris and I did decide to see one another before the ceremony so that we could have a few more minutes to take portraits. This ended up being one of the best decision for us – I was SO excited that I think I would’ve melted down had I not seen Chris until I walked down the aisle! Also, I am totally a Kristin Bell when it comes to emotions (please tell me you’ve seen her sloth meltdown video on Ellen! It’s a must see! If I’m not between a 3 and a 7 on the emotional scale, I am crying hysterically. Of course it was no different on our wedding day. I love the photos of the first look, and I’m so glad it was just the two of us. It was a wonderful, intimate moment.
If there are any brides out there who are scared that the first look may take away from the walk down the aisle, don’t be. Ours didn’t at all. If anything, it allowed me a little more calm and in-the-moment throughout the ceremony.
Chris and I chose to do a full Catholic mass for our wedding. Chris’s sister, a graduate of NYU’s MA program in vocal performance, was kind enough to be the cantor for our ceremony. She completely wowed the crowd! During her rendition of Ave Maria there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Even my uber-composed groom got a little teary!
After the ceremony we headed to Chris’s alma mater, Georgetown, to take some bridal party photos. You’ll notice that some of Chris’s groomsmen are just little guys – that’s because he decided to make all his brothers and first male cousins his groomsmen! They are adorable and funny and I am so glad we included them in the wedding.
While our family and friends headed to the Park Hyatt Washington for the cocktail hour, Chris and I had a few moments to ourselves in our suite. I asked Abby to take a few shots for us in the room, and she came up with these beautiful photos of us laying down and taking a little breather:
Then came our oh-so-fun reception. Check out the amazing work our florist John Duffy from Yellow Door Floral did! I was awe-struck when I first walked into the ballroom. I absolutely love how everything turned out, and all credit here really needs to be given to our vendors and coordinator Cindy Bastron at A. Dominick Events.
Our entrance into the reception was one of my favorite moments of the entire day. Walking into a room and seeing every single one of your loved ones cheering for you is a humbling and amazing feeling. I wanted to freeze time for that moment and memorize the expression of joy on each person's face. To know that people are that happy for the love you've found is the most wonderful feeling. I still get tingly just thinking about it!
What did we do then? We ate, we drank, and we danced the night away.
I was trying to think of some very sage piece of wedding advice that I could pass along to other brides-to-be, and I think the most important lesson I learned was one of letting go. There comes a time during wedding planning when even the most type-A bride has to throw her hands up and just let it be.
A huge congratulations to Freddy and Chris! We're so glad to have had even just a small part in your wedding experience. Best wishes to you for an amazing future together.
Be sure to check out Abby's full blog post, complete with vendors and tons of photos!
[All photos by Abby Jiu Photography]